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Complex care describes care for people with long-term health conditions such as acquired brain injuries and physical disabilities. Often, individuals will have several associated conditions alongside their primary diagnosis, such as a heart condition, epilepsy or diabetes. 

Providing support for people with complex care needs requires careful planning and an understanding of the intricacies of the various health conditions involved and their treatment, in order to ensure that individuals can live their lives as independently as possible. Specialist support based on an individual's unique needs is required to ensure each person's well- being and quality of life.

At Lifeways, our specialist support team work with our dedicated support workers to ensure they are trained and feel equipped to deliver and address each person's needs effectively - this could include diabetes management, catheter care, PEG/PEJ feeding or epilepsy care. This means that care can be offered in a person's home environment and helps to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

Examples of complex care needs

The most common types of complex care needs Lifeways can support may incorporate a combination of the following:

Complex care support can also benefit people who display behaviours that challenge, by utilising trusted methods including Positive Behaviour Support (PBS). PBS employs a person-centred approach to ensure a positive impact on a person’s quality of life by supporting people to effectively manage their needs.

What are the benefits of complex care?

Our support teams are trained to help people with a wide variety of healthcare needs, meaning that those living with multiple conditions or diseases can benefit from a comprehensive level of care.

A complex care support plan is put together for each individual - taking into account their current situation, any support needs, and future ambitions.

However, in order to create a complex care support plan, it’s important to understand what an individual’s ‘complex’ variables are, including any challenges they present. Therefore, support plans are created to reflect the impact of an individual’s medical and/or psychological conditions, and how we can manage them proactively and positively.

“We encourage our residents to be independent, develop daily living skills and become active members of the local and wider community,” said Lifeways’ Team Leader, Roger.

Some individual’s needs might impact their ability to live independently. Care plans will then include ways to overcome any barriers preventing them from living independently, such as communication tools, activity planners and assistive technology. It’s also important to include meaningful engagement opportunities, to allow those with complex care needs to build and maintain relationships, and get involved in their local community. 

It might be that an individual needs assistance with managing their environment, and so plans could include ways to break down tasks into manageable steps - identifying ways to provide and enable decision-making.

Support plans are regularly re-assessed to ensure that the individual’s expectations are being met, and they’re receiving the best level of care possible. 

Residential care for people living with complex care needs

We have residential care options across the UK, offering places for people with complex care and support needs to live in welcoming and stimulating environments.

Residential care is best suited for those requiring 24/7 specialist support with their day-to-day tasks, and help with things such as taking medication and personal care. Where required, some of our homes also have the use of assistive technology to further aid with independent living.

Each home provides residents with the opportunity to enjoy spending time with others in the communal living spaces and kitchen areas, with the privacy of their own bedroom with en-suite wet room or bathroom facilities.

Those with complex care needs can benefit from 24/7 on-hand support that a residential care home can offer, whilst enjoying the social benefits and environment.

Supported living for people with complex care needs

Supported living is a fantastic option for those with complex care needs who would benefit from support that fits seamlessly around their lives.

The specialist teams offer both core and 1:1 support, all of which is designed around individual needs and wishes.

Jordan, who lives at our Wandsworth supported living service in London, used to feel most comfortable when he was at home. But after a first-time trip to Spain, he’s boosted his independence and is now planning more trips and even going to college. His support team is delighted.

“The trip has solidified a sense of confidence in Jordan that he did not previously have,” says his service manager Charleen.

“Due to the encouragement of his support team, he knows that there is so much to see in the world, and we can support him to do so.”

How our in-house Specialist Support Team can help

At Lifeways, both our supported living and residential care services ensure a positive impact on an individual’s quality of life. The in-house Specialist Support Team helps our teams to understand the impact a person's condition or disease has on their needs, and how to adapt their support plans accordingly.

“The specialist support team works really well as a wrap-around service that is available to everyone who needs it. We work up and down the country supporting staff teams by providing tailor-made training and completing robust assessments in order to understand behaviour,” said Jo Lourmpa, a specialist support manager at Lifeways.

We ensure that our specialist support team has the training they require to be able to support people effectively with varying needs. They understand the impact that someone’s condition or disease has on their life, and are given tools such as health monitoring forms to ensure they’re managing and assessing everyone’s conditions carefully.

How Lifeways can help

Lifeways offers a range of support options, designed to fit around an individual’s needs and wishes. Whether it’s assistance with day-to-day tasks, or 24-hour round-the-clock support, our specialist teams are trained to provide the best level of care and support possible.

From the referral stage, to moving in, we’ll be here to support you every step of the way

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Complex Care FAQs

What is complex care in mental health?

Complex care takes into consideration an individual’s physical and psychological health conditions, to create a care plan which meets their unique needs. Someone with complex care needs might have numerous long-term health conditions which should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis to offer a personalised approach to support planning.

What is the meaning of complex care?

Complex care often refers to individuals with multiple conditions, who require support to manage their symptoms and daily tasks. Complex care and support is often delivered by a team of healthcare professionals who work together to develop a care plan which meets an individual’s unique needs.

What is a complex care plan?

A complex care plan is created for anyone with complex care needs, to ensure they’re given the best support to deal with their long-term health conditions.

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